So you want to join the Amish

One thing that sets the Amish apart from many Mennonite groups, and for that matter most other religious bodies:  they don’t recruit.

Amish typically neither condemn nor encourage attempts to join.  They may seem a bit discouraging towards the idea.  If the subject comes up, usually you hear something like ‘if you don’t grow up Amish, it’s really hard to do it.’

Occasionally, you run into an Amish person with a name that just doesn’t ‘sound’ Amish.  That’s often a clue.

It frequently happens that non-Amish who join stick it out for a little while but leave when the novelty wears off.

I’ve only met a very few that have joined, and that’s out of literally (literally literally) thousands of families met while selling books in their communities.

I regret not having a chance to get down to the nitty-gritty about it with the joiners (What’s it like?  No, what’s it really like?  What do you miss most?).

One was a teacher.  Another works in a factory.  A third, fairly fresh convert raises and sells mums.  He supposedly fell for an Amish lass while on a visit to the community.

Asking another ‘native’ Amishman in his community about the newbie, I was told, almost wink-wink jokingly, that he seems to be doing alright (so far), as if the underlying idea was ‘is he gonna make it?’

But this guy, and the other people around him were supportive as far as I could tell.  In fact, the outsiders who have joined and ‘survived’ seem to garner a bit of extra respect.

Apparently, one way it works for interested parties is that you first come to live and get put to work for a certain length of time, just to see if you can hack it on that end.

Then there are the teachings and language to pick up.  Amish adolescents readying themselves for baptism normally attend prep courses led by church ministers.

One New Order Amish couple I met had adopted five non-Amish children.  They found a Pennsylvania Dutch tutor to teach the kids the native tongue.  I suppose that would come in handy for non-Dutch adult converts as well.

Some converts are from similar-minded faiths such as this Mennonite -background fellow, which may make it easier, but others come from different branches of Christianity.

The teacher-convert was apparently originally Catholic, as was well-known Amish historian David Luthy, whom I often mention in this blog.

616444_car_keys Apparently this teacher-convert said he found living without a car to be the most difficult.  That’s not surprising.  For me, I think car and electric would be the hardest.  Clothing, hairstyle, hard physical work I’m pretty sure I could swing.

But that might be looking at it the wrong way.  One Amishman has suggested that seekers approaching the Amish solely through the lifestyle angle–the buggies-and-beards rustic appeal of it–are missing the point.

The whole idea is not to live in a strange cultural world for it’s own sake.   By itself, that gets you nowhere.  Rather it’s all about living what the Amish feel is most important:  the words and teachings of Jesus Christ.

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    1. Ray

      Erik, my email will tell me there is a new post, but when I click the link it’s not there. It only happens when that one fellow asks questions about the Amish letting him marry.

      1. for Ray

        Ray, I had the same problem, until I realized that is someone clicks the “reply to comment” it puts the new comment directly below the comment replied to, not at the end of the comments. For example, I replied to your comment with this post, and it should end up (If my theory is right 🙂 ) below yours, but above Bob the Quakers latest post which is actually older than mine. Mike

    2. Bob the Quaker

      Since someone brought up Quakers, I can’t pass up the opportunity. Friends (another term for Quakers)know from experience that revelation is continuing and that a divine power is at work in the world today, healing, guiding, gathering, and transforming. We call this power God, the Light, Christ, the Seed, the Inward Teacher. By whatever name it is known, its nature is love. It draws us toward a life of integrity, simplicity, equality, community, and peace. Our meetings (churh gatherings)strive to be loving, nurturing communities. We celebrate diversity.

      Although there are only around 300,000 Quakers in the world today (120,000 in the U. S.), Quakers have had a powerful impact on the world in the 370 years of their existence. In those many years, we have been, and still are, pioneers in education, concern for minorities, women’s rights, care of the mentally ill, and world peace. The American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its peacemaking and social efforts. Today, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has a “green” building in Washington, D.C. across from the Senate Office Building. Many congressmen bring their proposed bills to FCNL for review before presenting them for debate.

      Most Quakers are opposed to war and many are pacifists. The Quakers basic belief is that the power of God is available to all without need of ritual or clergy because there is something of God in every person and an inner core of goodness. Quakers call it “the Light”; others may call it “conscience” or “moral law.”

      The FCNL policy statement below expresses the vision held by Quakers:

      We seek a world free of war and the threat of war.
      We seek a society with equity and justice for all.
      We seek a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled.
      We seek an earth restored.

    3. Ray

      Thanks Primitive, that was exactly the issue!

      1. My thanks too Mike. I’m hoping the reply to comment feature will help make conversations easier to follow especially on long threads like this one. We’ll see how it works.

        1. Jessica G.

          The problem is that the notifications arrive in our inbox in the order they were posted. But when we click to visit the thread here, the comment doesn’t show up at the end of the page where you’d expect it. It might be pages and pages back. On a short thread that would be fine, but it takes a lot of time searching for the last comment this way.

          1. How to go straight to the new comment in a thread

            Hi Jessica,

            Good point. There are 2 ways to go straight to the comment. First, rather than clicking the “You can see all comments on this post here” link in your email notification, click the “Permalink”. That will take you right to the new comment in the new thread.

            The other way to do it is to click the new comment in the “recent comments” sidebar on the side of the blog, and you’ll go straight to that comment.

            Hope that makes it more convenient.

            1. hedy

              reply to your (July 30th, 2011 at 14:42) post

              i posted earlier today..OCT 21st 2011 suggesting you get a new system and now hours later i respond to link in email and come to the page and here are old posts from july and august…
              i can’t click any ‘links’ on this page but will keep trying…

              1. Message for Hedy

                Hi Hedy, sorry if this is still causing trouble. I don’t know if you saw the note I left at the very bottom of the comments. I changed the system so you can go straight to the newest comment. This is what I wrote:

                ‘If you are subscribed to this or any other comment thread, you should now see something like this at the beginning of any emails you get:

                “A new comment has been posted on “So you want to join the Amish” on the Amish America blog.

                To go directly to the new comment, click”

                Clicking this link will take you directly to the newest comment.’

                You don’t need to click any links on this page–just the link you get in your email. When you click the link, though, be careful not to scroll down the page right away. You’ll first see the top of the post, then after a couple seconds, the page will “jump” down to the new comment. Voila.

                The reason you are seeing posts from July and August on this page is b/c there are about 70 comments on this page, and some go back to the summer.

                Let me know if there’s anything else I can help with. You’re also welcome to email me at ewesner (at) if you have any other questions.

        2. hedy

          hard to use this

          i have seen many posts coming thru for this thread but have been deleting them w/o even opening them…because it is too hard to follow this…i was able to read one or 2 and then have to do other things…there are so many other sites using easier ways.. i hope you can find and use one soon…
          i will check in again in a few weeks…and continue doing so..until then..i will just not bother getting frustrated..LOL
          hope you all have a great week…


          perhaps you could go to this forum and see how they work with theirs… it works REALLY easy and fast..
          it is the doctors tv show website… you have to sign in and JOIn to see the forums.. but you can see how it works and maybe model one after it…

    4. Don Curtis

      My son is Amish

      I just thought you’d like to know that “Outsiders” do indeed join the Amish. I know this, for sure, because my son joined the Amish. He was no teenager either. He was 50 when he joined. He’ll be 59 the end of next month. He waited until he retired from teaching public school.
      He got to know the folks in the community that he is no a part of almost 25 years ago when he got the opportunity to visit an
      Amish school. Over the years he just became more and more a part. When he was able to retire, that’s where he wanted to go. Wasn’t my “cup of tea” I moved Florida.
      But, I was 80 then. Now, I’m almost 89. I told, Mark, I thought it was time I lived closer to him. He found me a little house in the village closest to his farm. I see him about every day. He comes in with the horse and buggy or I drive out to see him. He arranged for an Amish girl to clean my house and and an Amish boy takes care of my yard.
      As my son always says, “Being Amish isn’t for everybody. Not even for all of the Amish. But it was right for me.”
      Like I said, I wouldn’t or couldn’t be Amish. But, I understand why he wanted to join them and I support his decision 100%.
      Mark has never been a happy as he is now. He seems to be well accepted, respected, and liked his community. He’s always busy. Seldom alone. Always has something going on or is invited here or there. He’s been Amish, now, almost nine years and looks to me like he’ll stay that way.
      As far as changing to Amish ways. He looks, talks, and lives Amish. He can jabber away in Pennsylvania Dutch and I can’t understand a word they’re saying. I tell him he should speak English when I am around. He says he does unless it’s something he doesn’t want me to know about. Hmmm. That’s comforting!
      Mark has two horses and several different kinds of buggies. That’s the one thing I’m not really comfortable with. I’m a 100% city boy. Riding in a buggy pulled by a big horse scares me. If he takes it in his head to run off all you’ve got to control him with are two little strings coming from his mouth. Doesn’t reassure me.
      Anyway, thought you’d like to hear from a Dad who’s son joined the Amish. Don’t ask me to many questions about the Amish because I don’t know the answers. You’d have to ask my son.
      You could probably write to him snail-mail. But, he’s definitely not on-line.
      Here’s his address:

      Mark Curtis
      9417 County Road 101
      Belle Center, OH 43310

      1. David


        Thats very interesting Don. Was or is your son married?

        1. Don Curtis

          My son is Amish

          Mark is single. He’s never been married.

      2. Joshua

        Don, thank you for posting this. I had a chance to visit Mark about a month ago at his farm. Very nice man. His lifestyle is an inspiration to me. I now no longer am using lights in my room, no fans or air conditioning, no alarm clock, no cell phone etc. I wear suspenders to work, and I attend a nearby Beachy Amish church. There are still some “luxuries” that are difficult for me to completely give up, such as the computer. Learning PA Dutch presents a challenge as well. I don’t know if I’ll ever seriously join the Amish, at the same time, I don’t really seem to fit into “mainstream” culture either. Uncatagorized Amish, perhaps? 🙂

        1. can't live w/o fans or a/c

          i do not know HOW Amish can be w/o fans or a/c down here in florida or anywhere for that matter. i have tried and house a/c died and thought it was the perfect time to try.. It was just too hat w/o no breezes.. I so admire them being able to do that esp with all the clothes they are required to wear!

          1. Lance

            Living without a/c or fans

            It is extremely hard for me to go from a cool climate to a hot climate suddenly, but I deal with it much better if it happens slowly over the summer, you acclimatize or get used to it. Also, if you do not have any fans or a/c, it is much easier to handle then going back and forth between having and not having them. While I was Amish, I worked on the threshing ring. It was hard work, that had to be done, even if it was hot. One hot day, a neighbor stopped by while we were threshing, completely astounded that we were working so hard. We knew it was hot, but had no clue it was 106 and was 104 the day before! We kept on working, no one over did it. We drank LOTS of water. I slept very well those nights as I was too tired to do otherwise! During this same summer, I went to the grocery store and it was so cold in there, I was chattering my teeth by the time left. Outside in the 90s was so much better.

            The design and placement of a house has a bearing on how hot or cool it feels. Shade trees are important to keeping the house cool. Also, most Amish houses are 2 stories and the second story is often hotter then the first. By opening all of the windows both upstairs and downstairs and the door to the staircase, the heat pulls cooler air in the 1st floor windows and out the 2nd floor. Each property has a predominate wind direction, the 1st floor bedroom is placed to take advantage of this wind to blow cooler air into the house at night. Some houses have big enough basements to allow beds to moved there to use the cooler air at night.

            One more thing, since you cannot change the weather and things have to be done, you suck up, bear down and work! And you sweat. You can work too hard, so you pace yourself and drink lots of water. Also, you do your hardest work in the morning, if you can.

        2. Sandi B


          Hello, are you from the OH area like Mark? I live in NC and have also been visiting with a Beachy-Mennonite church near my home. I try to live without as many modern things as well. I dress like the other ladies at my church with the cape dress and round eastern kapp with no strings. I would enjoy hearing more about your experiences. I don’t come from an Amish/Mennonite background so it would be great to hear from someone else in a simmilar situation as myself. Thanks.

      3. Almost time for me to join.

        Could anyone tell me about the Amish that live near Charlotte Michigan? They appear as pretty small but does anyone know how many districts they consist of? Are they of the same type as the Amish of Elkhart and Lagrange counties of northern Indiana, and do they have association with them? Is there only type of occupation farming or is there anything else? What is the name of there bishop.

        I am a Mennonite that tries to live unworldly, I understand the Amish way of life and there religious doctrine. For this reason I have decided to become Amish. But it is not something any person should jump into without investigating it first and deciding which group of Amish to become a part of. But I would rather it not be with the ones in my area. I believe the ones in my area have fallen away from the life that the Amish church was meant to be due to high earnings. I don’t believe the Amish were ever meant to have big fancy homes and keeping there money to themselves rather than sharing it with those whom need it most. I am by no means condemning the Amish of northern Indiana, but I think they need to reevaluate themselves by taking time to study the principals of what there faith was founded on and applying that to there way of life and not just how they want it to be. I have also had some health issues and I know the Amish of this area would not want me because of worrying it might cost them. My faith will always be in God and I want a church that will accept me as I am, help me through hard times, and treat me the same as they would also want to be treated.

    5. Ray


      Once again I’m not trying to argue. How would the Anabaptist/Mennonite schools teach American history differently? American history can seem very “White” because unfortunately in much of this country’s history the White males had all the power. From my observation, Black history month has not brought a more balanced look at history. The public schools seem to focus on things that would normally be insignificant in history to make sure that Blacks are included. Things like inventing the traffic light are all great accomplishments, but would probably be missed in a history textbook that was written to give a general summary of American history, regardless of the race of the inventor. Key political figures that were Black such as Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. are included in American history lessons.

      I guess in my opinion, this whole topic would not be a liberal agenda in public schools, because majority of America’s liberals are very much against racism and promote diversity. In fact, most of the U.S.’s educated citizens would be multi-cultural minded. Racism seems to be more abundant among those that call themselves “Conservative Americans.”

    6. Hannah

      So I dont know now what to do im once again at a dead end. I have been praying about this and I know its what God wonts me to do. So can anyone help me?Im 15 and really wont to become amish any suggestions??

      1. Paul

        Paul - Hannah


        Read EVERYTHING you can get your hands on. You would be making a life-long commitment so be very sure about it, there is no turning back. Have you discussed this with you parents?


      2. Hannah

        Hello, Hannah.
        Most Amish are going to tell you to submit yourself to your parents until you are of legal age, and even then to be submissive if it doesnt go against Biblical principles. Children submitting to parental authority is a very solid principle in Amish and Mennonite teachings. If you want to learn of the Amish, write to Pathway Publishers at the address I posted above and subscribe to their magazines. They are Amish publishers.
        And of course, read the Bible and take seriously the teachings of Jesus in the sermon on the Mount.

      3. Merrie Rancourt


        Hi Hannah,

        Were you unable to connect with the Amish_and_Mennonite group? I’ve been watching for you there.

        The website is if the email address isn’t working.

        I don’t want you to give your email address out on this site, so are you on Facebook? I am. You could send me a message there if you’d like.

        You’re a young woman, but you aren’t of legal age yet so you don’t have very many options. You are also required to honor your parents unless they tell you to do something unbiblical.

        I haven’t heard from Kate lately because she has joined an Amish community. I don’t expect her to have time to write for quite a while. 🙂 Summer is the busiest season in an Amish community.

        I hope to hear from you!

        1. Mum C

          Youth Experience

          My son, who is 16, is very keen to experience living and working on an Amish farm, with an Amish family this coming summer. We live in the UK. He finds modern-day Britain with its vast choices and pressures on young people quite overwhelming and longs for the simple life with clear values and hard working. Does anyone know of any programmes which enable young people to be placed with a family for work/life experience for a summer? Thank you for your responses.

      4. Hello Hannah,

        You are so young and this is such a life changing decision. My first question to you is: Why do you want to become Amish? Is there something in your current life that is causing you to want to leave your family? Remember, choosing to be Amish would be a complete separation from your current life, from your family and friends. You would be putting the modern world aside, and taking up a very different life.

        I would also urge you to look into how women are treated in the Amish communities, I recently read a true account written by a young Amish girl, I believe her name was Torah, who was desperate to escape the abuse in her household. I’m not saying that ALL women are treated badly, but men do seem to have the upper hand, more so than we do in our culture.

        If you are choosing the Amish life for religious reasons, I would urge you to read your bible and reach out to people of faith in your community. God tells us to use “wisdom” in all things, be sure that you are taking advantage of all of the tools at your disposal to research the Amish and to gain as much knowledge about them as possible BEFORE you dive head first into a life style you may not fully understand.

        1. excellent advice to hannah..

      5. Chantel

        I agree with u...

        To Hannah,
        I am 31, and have been interested for years in being Amish. I am currently LDS in faith…but I have been praying like u for awhile and feel that my heart indeed is leading me to the Amish faith! I am fed up with all the crap that goes on in our lives. Like around Christmas…its not about the tree, light ,gifts etc!!!! Its the birth of our Lord! And we should give thanks to Him and nothing else. I would love to talk with u more about this…Cause in the new year…I am panning on a trip to see how I can live with s family for a year to see if I too can make it??? If u want to come with…would love the company!!! Your friend Chantel

    7. Chelsea

      Merrie – I would have to disagree with the Anabaptist schools teaching history more accurately, most around me do not teach history in an American History sense. They teach about their relgious history. And for the critical thinking aspect, I do not see the public schools nor the private/Christian schools doing better than one another, they do about the same in this. Again, this is just my region and I suspect it does vary based on region.

      Hannah — The most important thing to do is pray. Not necessarily join a group on-line, but pray, read your Bible and with your parent’s permission, find someone who is Amish and start writing to them if possible. Start living the way they do as best as you can in your current setting. Limit your time on the internet, skip the tv and radio and start dressing modestly and wearing a headcovering. I used to think I wanted to be Amish as well, I probably did for 10 years, but since I’ve moved to an Amish/Mennonite community, I realized that I cannot do it. There are so many things that I do not agree with. I am struggling with even some of the rules that the Mennonite churches set forth and I do not believe everything that they want me to believe in order to be like them. I also think evaluating why you want to be Amish is important. Is it for the lifestyle? Is it for the spiritual aspect? Just something to consider as you continue to pray and seek the Lord’s guidance.


      1. Merrie Rancourt

        Chelsea and Kate

        Sorry Chelsea. It’s been very hectic here (we are moving) and I got this conversation mixed up with another one.

        You are right. Conservative Mennonite schools teach church history because we are not citizens of the world. We are citizens of God’s Kingdom.

        We are moving so I have emailed you our new address. The old one will forward for a year in case you lose the new one.

    8. Kate

      Hi Hannah,

      I too plan to join an Amish church this coming August (haven’t left yet Merrie! lol) and would love to answer any questions you might have or try and get you connected with some Amish if there are some in your area. Email me at but the advice given by Merrie and others is very good. Pray first and read all about them are both good. The group is very helpful and I am a part of it too! God bless and hope to hear from you soon


      1. Sarah

        Wanting to join Amish

        I am 14 and would also like to join the Amish. I think I can handly it. I have been looking on lots of websites but no one will tell me how I can stay with an amish family for just a few weeks to see how they live. If you have any information please email me at I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks

        1. Message to Sarah and other under-18 visitors

          Hi Sarah, and other folks,

          I appreciate your comments, but there are a few thoughts I need to share. And please understand I am not trying to talk down to you as an older person.

          First, if you are really 14, or 16, or any minor age, you might need to be a little more cautious about posting your email address on the internet. Do your parents know about that? I remember when I was a teen (not THAT long ago), and though the net really wasn’t around, I wanted to exercise my independence in many ways. But, you first need to think things through. We have a good group here of people that want to help, but anyone in the world can read this and write you, if you just post your email address here (or on any site, for that matter).

          Second, there have been a number of comments from people in your age range about joining the Amish (here and in my email inbox). I admire interest in living a deeper faith. But you need to know most Amish children do not become baptized until age 18, 20, or later. So if you’re interested in the Amish, that is fine, but thinking about joining the Amish right now doesn’t make any sense. Frankly, and with respect (and leaving age aside), I can tell by reading your comment you don’t know enough to even consider that life-changing idea right now.

          If you are really interested in the Amish, your next step needs to be learning more about the Amish, and possibly going for a visit to a community–WITH your parents’ knowledge and participation.

          If what you are interested in is living a deeper Christian life, you can probably do that within your own faith (I’m assuming you are from a Christian background). This is typically what Amish people will tell you too. Becoming Amish is not an easy adaption to make, and most people who try do not succeed, or stay Amish over the long-term, for many different reasons.

          I’m not trying to be negative for its own sake. There are exceptions to anything, but I also sense that a lot of people–younger people especially–develop a fascination in the Amish and their next thought is to jump off the cliff. Take time, learn more, appreciate what you can. There’s nothing wrong with being young, or enthusiastic about deepening your faith. But you need to slow down.

          1. Good reply, Erik.
            Now a suggestion. This comment section is quite long. Perhaps you should post some of these thoughts at the bottom of the post itself. I would suggest something like this:
            “If you are underage, please do not post your email address. To learn more about the Amish, subscribe to the magazines from Pathway Publishers. Practically all Amish are going to encourage underage people to submit to parental authority (unless that authority asks them to sin). There are also a lot of good books on the Amish that can help a person understand the culture and theology. (you could list a couple) But stay away from Amish romances and novels if you want a real picture, as they will not generally give a true picture of what it is like to live out the Amish lifestyle in everyday “hum-drum” life of washing clothes for 9 children or working in the sawmill for 54 hours a week.”
            By the way, I finally broke down and bought Unser Leit. Absolutely stupendous book for (as Leroy says of himself) “an eighth grade education. That said, he may stretch his proof a little far in a few places, as far as interpreting the movement in early days. But an absolutely necessary book if you want to get deep into Amish history and mindset. Mike

            1. Mike, see below. And well done on Unser Leit. I am still in the “haven’t-read” category, I hate to say.

    9. Hannah

      all you guys who was talking to me thanks and merrie you can look me up on facebook cause i dont know what you look like my is a picture of me and my cat and dog.

    10. sonofagun

      How do I unsubscribe?

      I keep getting emails from this thread such as:

      A new comment has been posted on “So you want to join the Amish” on the Amish America blog. To see all comments on this post, click Hannah said: “all you guys who was talking to me thanks and merrie you can look me up on facebook cause i dont know what you look like my is a picture of me and my cat and dog.” To unsubscribe from comments on this post, click

      I try to unsubscribe by going to the unsubscribe url but I still keep getting emails. How do I unsubscribe???

      1. Sorry about that sonofagun, no idea why it’s not working for you. When you go to that url, does it give you any kind of message? I just tried it myself with the url you provided, and it tells me “you have unsubscribed successfully”. I hope that does the trick?

        UPDATE: I just checked, and you are no longer on the subscriber list, so I guess that did the trick. You shouldn’t get any more notifications from this post.

        Again sorry for the annoyance, for some reason this post is a little funky–I get notifications through a separate blog tool for every post on this blog, EXCEPT this one, and could never figure out why.

        1. Iven torres

          What do you think??

          Hello erik, just wanted to know if I could ever be amish myself, I have been yhrough so many things in life, I have seen things that could even make you second guess who is the maker, I have also, thanks to god…… Have made it, I love myself, and all it took to get to the still tender age of 31… Im no fanatic for christ, but I know he walks with me… And im always save around my savior, I would love nothing more, than to dedicate my whole life to jessus christ…. So tell me, how I can live more like an amish….

    11. Jennifer

      becoming amish

      I feel as though i am being called in that direction, I don’t really watch TV any more, I hardly use my cell phone, the only issue that i am having is the fact that i am 23 i have a 2yr old son, and i have tattoos. I don’t know what to do…. I really want to answer the calling…. can someone please help me understand what i am supposed to do????? if so please e-mail me at thank you

    12. Lance


      Your past would present problems to some Amish, but not all. Are you divorced? Remarriage after divorce is not allowed in all Amish that I know. Your boy himself is not a problem, but the behavior that got him here will make Amish more suspicious of you, you have to prove to them that you are leaving that behind and walking in the way God intended. As for the tattoo’s, count on having them removed. I don’t know how that is done, so I’ll leave that up to you find out.

      Alternatively, consider the Beachy Amish-Mennonites or Charity Ministries. You can google either one and find web sites about them. Both groups would be more open minded about your situation, but still practice a form of the plain lifestyle. Also, both groups are evangelical, so you would know you are wanted, most Amish are not evangelical, so it would be a uphill struggle all the way.

      1. Jennifer


        Lance, I really would like to thank you for all of your help. i know how to get the tattoos removed. I just feel that i am being called to that way of life. I was never married. My son was an unplanned pregnancy, a harry houdini if you will. i do not ever regret having him. I am just having a hard time understanding my calling. again thank you for all of your help

    13. Ray

      No fans or ACs

      Hedy, many of the Amish use pneumatic fans.

      1. ok looked that up as i had no clue.. still seems to be elect use tho??

      2. ok looked that up as i had no clue.. still seems to be elect use tho?? and cost a lot.

    14. Ray

      I believe the air compressor that supplies their pneumatic tools and appliances is fuel powered.

    15. Hannah

      So i’v been praying like y’all told me to.I still thank that I wont to be amish. Y’all said that I needed to learn more about them do you know of any books or things I can learn a little more about them.

    16. Lance


      Since the new reply to comment setup started working, it is now hard to find the last comment made when that comment is in the middle of comments and not in the last 12 comments made. Can you add a way to sort a topic’s comments by date? If not that, then could each topic get its own ‘recent comments’ section so that you can find that last comment more easily?

      Thanks in advance, I hope.


    17. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Books at a website

      Hi Hannah! In another thread Erik started I suggested a link to a plain person’s website who has a page full of books on Amish/Mennonite/Anabaptist and Friends plain. I suggest you take a look at “Quaker Jane” if you’re into the clothing of it all, because she has a lot of information over there, mostly it’s women’s attire. She even has pictorials on how to dress a baby girl plainly.

    18. Lance

      Kate went Amish

      To all the friends of Kate that don’t correspond with her privately: I had a chat with Kate Tuesday evening and she informed me that on Wednesday, Aug 31st, 2011, she was moving to her Amish host’s home for her attempt to join their church.

      Let’s all pray for God to lead her rightly! I certainly wish her well.

      1. Merrie


        I’ll be writing Kate privately, but just wanted to say how happy I am for her. The road has been long and not always easy, but she has listened and happily obeyed our Father.

    19. YHWH's Slave

      If one is obeying YHWH by becoming Amish, doesn’t that mean everyone should be Amish?

      1. Merrie

        No. It simply means that this is the Lord’s Will for Kate. He has a unique plan for each of us.

    20. Valerie

      Kate leaving

      Knowing Kate was leaving she was on my heart. At one time I thought it couldn’t be the Lord leading her, and I’m sorry for that post. Merrie is right that sometimes God has a unique plan, that doesn’t appear to make sense. Typically, it wouldn’t be out of what the Word of God would back up. But then look at Him asking Hosea to marry Gomer (a harlot)-however, this had a very specific purpose for God’s people who had gone astray.

      It would be nice to hear how Kate is doing from time to time.
      May the Lord be glorified by lives willing to obey His voice, for His purpose. Time will tell her purpose for this.

      There is counterfeit Jesus out there, Jesus said “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers”. (John 10:4,5)Denominations, many are changing His Word as we speak-we NEED to know His voice.

      1. Merrie

        Valerie About Kate

        Hi Valerie,

        I think I remember your concerns correctly. If so you’ll be happy to know that Kate is in an Amish community which believes in salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. They believe in Acts 16:31, Hebrews 11:6, John 3:5,7, and Luke 13:5. I’d be as uneasy as you if she weren’t joining such a community.

        When I hear from her (and it could be quite a while), I’ll post an update with identifying information redacted as she wished.



    21. Ray

      What if God’s special plan was Islam? And don’t all Christian groups claim salvation by the blood of Christ despite their cult mentality (obedience to the church as essential for salvation) and focus on works salvation?

      1. Ray, Jesus said that whoever heard His teachings and did not obey them was as foolish as a man that built his house on a sandbar. But whoever heard and did them was like a man that built on a rock.
        The Amish and many other Christians simply try to be wise folks and do the works that Jesus told His followers to do. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
        re: Islam We all have to decide who we want to believe has the message from God: Jesus, Mohammed, some other prophet, or in the case or most people, their own mind.

        1. Merrie

          Other Religions

          Evil is increasing in the world. We can no longer play nice by saying everyone should worship their own god. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others are false religions and the Lord has told us so.

          Genesis 16:10-12 tells us that Ishmael will be a wild man and every man’s hand shall be against him.

          Genesis 17:19-21 tells us that God’s covenant will be through Isaac, not Ishmael. It is Ishmael’s descendent, Mohammed, who invented Islam AFTER the Christ walked among us. They do not believe in a triune God. Therefore, their god is not God.

          We are warned in Galatians 1:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 that even Satan can appear as an angel of light or an angel of heaven. Both Mohammed and Joseph Smith claim to have seen angels who “corrected” what we know through the Bible. Mohammed says that Christ will be his second-in-command, killing all those who refuse to convert. Joseph Smith said that Christ will return with him as his lieutenant. No angel from the Lord would claim such things.

          As for Kate, her community believes in salvation through the saving grace of Christ. They know that they are saved because they have accepted salvation and been sanctified.

          1. L.L

            How can I get in touch w/ an amish family? I am 27 years old and have wanted to be amish for over 10 years. thanks

          2. L.L

            How can I get in touch w/ an amish family? I am 27 years old and have wanted to join since I was 10. I would love to visit a community.

    22. Ray

      We work because we are born again, not to get born again. The Amish churches teach that you can’t know that you are saved so they are working with a hope for salvation. The Bible says we can know!

      1. Valerie McMaster

        Ray, do you believe that you can speak for ALL AMish churches on this? I do know, in my area, what you say is true-the balance scale, as determining going to heaven-but is that true in All communities? How could we know?
        It helps to have the scripture backing that you can have assurance of salvation-

        1. Jessica

          I thought that “living hope” was the Old Order position, and that is why there are groups such as the New Order and the Beachy. Those groups, especially the New Order from what I understand, split from the Old Order because they believed in assurance of salvation.

    23. sonofagun

      I interact with the local Amish in my area almost everyday and count many of them as friends. Drive some around when they need a ride too. They own several well run and very busy businesses in the area.

    24. Valerie McMaster

      Merrie, I REALLY appreciate your above post and absolutely concur, in these days we live.

      Also, thank you for your previous reply and appreciate you being there for Kate.

    25. Zachary

      My name is Zachary Thomas Thoroman, and since a young man at the age of 12-16 my Grandparents took me to an Amish Village in Central Illinois. I’ve always found a distinct fascination with the way they did things. Now I am 26 years old about to be 27 by October the 4th.

      I will be honest, my life doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, oftentimes I am alone, saddened, and depressed. I cannot get work, or I am too slow to become employed. Or people ridicule me, and a number of other things that I care not to mention.

      Deep down inside I want to belong somewhere and find peace with humanity again. I want to find hope in believing in God, that he gave his only son that we would all have peace. I mainly tire of this life that I live now. Jobs are few and far between and I do not wish to go back to working at the same things my friends have been.

      Could someone tell me what is necessary to leave this world behind? In order to find a new way of living life? I just simply do not feel peace anymore with myself.

      1. Ernie Yoder

        Hey Zachary,

        Listen up!!! Just because you may ‘feel’ empty and unfulfilled doesn’t mean that God isn’t working in your life, because he is … whether you lknow it or not. God has a special purpose for you and that is why you were born for such a time as this. God has a specific purpose at a specific time for every onw of us.

        I want you to listen to a song entitled “For Such a Time As This”

        Dial 712-432-0061 … then press 55# .. then press 196. Join in the singing with these words…

        Great corruption and iniquity abound on every hand
        Evil thoughts and base philosophies persist
        But the child of God is planted here according to His plan
        You are come into the Kingdom for such a time as this.

        You are come into the kingdom to do your Fathers will.
        The reward is heavens everlasting bliss.
        There’s a work that God designed for you, no other can fulfill
        You are come into the kingdom for such a time as this.

        Moses had a great temptation to live in luxury
        As a pharaoh ruling in a palace grand
        But instead he chise affliction, disgrace and poverty
        He was come into the kingdom as God’s appointed man.

        With each rising generation the challenge is renewed
        To instruct the minds of children in the Truth
        There are many workers needed, this great challenge to pursue
        You are come into the kingdom to guide the hearts of youth.

        There is still a ray of hope for those who truly serve the Lord
        You’re directed by a strong and mighty hand.
        Though the struggle may be frought with danger, peril, & the sword
        You are come into the kingdom to follow His command.

        Allow God to speak to your heart, Zac… He knows and He cares

    26. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Hi Ernie Yoder,
      Although your post is pointed at Zachary, I think it is a message we all should remember and come back to in our own ways.

    27. Hannah Yoder

      There was a girl in mein old district who was an Englischer, but joined the Amish faith. She is doing fine, she joined 5 years ago and she is now married to mein bruder and they have 3 small children and another on the way.

    28. Jasmine

      I am going to become amish....

      I told an Amish person I wanted to become Amish and he asked did I speak German. Does this mean I have to learn German before I go there or I can go and then have an Amish person teach me. Thanks in advance for your help.

      1. Lance

        Languages in the Amish and Seekers

        If you are still in school, start taking German asap. If not, you can learn German, but it is not easy. The Amish have three languages: PA Dutch, which the Amish call Deitsch, High German, and English.

        The Deitsch is learned as the native tongue, and the Amish strongly cling to it. Some of the language can be learned in a New Testament in the language and the rest can only really be learned by being with the Amish.

        The Amish learn English and High German in school. They use english when taking to non-Amish. High German is the language of the Bible the Amish use. So, HG gets used in most matters of referal to scripture.

        At most other times, the Amish use Deitsch. Some people say you can be Amish without learning Deitsch, but I cannot see how that is possible. You would be left out of so much, you will have a real difficult time with being lonely in the midst of a crowd of people talking around you. Announcements in church will be missed. The Amish will sometimes say that it was easy for them to learn, as if you should just pick it up as easily. (that one really confused and irritated me several times). If you are determined to be Amish and learn the language, it can be done, several people have. But count on the burden being FULLY and COMPLETELY yours. Expect no one to be a continuous, voluntary mentor. Most Amish know nothing of that kind of behavior. The more progressive side of the Amish may be better at helping the determined seeker than the conservatives will be. One man who joined the Amish said it took him 19 years to learn the language. It is that hard of a language.

        You can go Amish before you know the language, but you have to talk to the ministers to find out what they want you to do. It can be like pulling teeth.

        May your determination survive longer than your ability to learn. Mine did not.

        1. Jasmine

          Thank you Lance

          Thank you very much Lance…. You helped a lot.

    29. Carla

      I would like to join the Amish

      Hi all

      I am a 30 year old English woman who is very keen to join the Amish. It is both for spiritual and lifestyle reasons. Can anyone please help me? I want to embrace the whole life and religion and would gladly give up the ‘luxuries’ such as technological items we use in modern culture. Please email me on if you can help.

      Many thanks


      1. Ernie Yoder


        I’d recommend doing as Lance said. Learn the Deutsch language ASAP. The best way to do that is by interacting with them. There are so many different dialects and accent differences from one community compared to another that learning the language otherwise may bring on more complications. The best way is to live in with an Amish family.

        A 20 yr old girl did that in MI and within 2 yrs had it mastered. There are variables with time as well. Hope all goes well!!

        1. Lance

          It is a lot easier to learn anything if you are 20 Yrs old or less! Also, girls/unmarried women are more likely to be working with someone everyday, the constant contact makes a difference. The character of your helper(s) can be all the difference in the world. A man who is farming is often alone. Age and no helper makes it a lot harder to learn a unwritten language.

    30. Lance

      Written PA Deitsch

      The link below will result in a list of about 30 out of publication old books that tried to put PA Deitsch(Dutch) in written form. Some are so complex and in such old language, they are very hard to understand. Others may be quite helpful. It is up to you to decide if they help you.

      1. Jessica

        Lance, would you happen to know how similar PA Dietsch is to Plautdietsch?

    31. Ray

      I would recommend that anyone that wants to be Amish to live with them before making such a drastic decision. Books and media make the lifestyle a novelty, but it’s not an easy way of life. Most people that have been indoctrinated with liberty and personal freedom will have a hard time adjusting to the rigid religious spirit that dictates their daily lives.

    32. Ray

      Jessica, from my experience they are fairly close except that PA Dutch is lacking the duckbill and webbed feet.

    33. Matthew


      Lance, I’d love to hear some more of your personal story when you feel like sharing. You are one of the more knowledgeable ones on this board, especially having been with the Amish at one time (in Indiana?). After reading your last post I see you must have been a convert. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    34. Ellie

      Ah, It's Been a While Since the Original Blog Post *grin*

      Well, I hope not to come off too naive (sp?) or to repeat too much what others have said. ** I’ve sure tried the “modern” churches, you know, the ones with the power-point presentations, loud rock music, fancy-printed programs, even laser shows! And this only on Christmas Eve! *grins* This isnt to say for many people, this isnt the way they feel closest to God, to Jesus, and I certainly am happy they’ve found their way, whatever it may be. **. But I’ve known for well over a decade this wasn’t for me, ever since I began to want to cover my hair (not easy in the world for sure), and felt I wanted to find a place of worship with no or minimal musical accompaniment (sp?) to singing, a plain place of worship, always drawn to drawings and teachings of anabaptist worship and way of life. * And, though I live minutes from the birthplace of (if I get this correct) the Old Older German Baptist and Dunker affiliations, I simply cannot find any contacts or information on plain churches in the Dayton, Ohio area. Although I see numerous German Baptist Brethren women in their distinct half-caped dresses, I have no idea how or IF one is welcome to visit their services, nor how to find this out. Im not ncessarily wanting to become Amish, just searching for a plain church to attend. ** Is there any chance at all someone reading this would “take pity” on a young(ish) woman seeking a plain, anabaptist church in the Dayton (southwest) Ohio area, and help her with some sort of contact or contact information? ** My relatives from Kenton in Hardin Co. are gone now, or too distant for me to know any longer (there are Old Order Amish districts there). So am posting on the off chance and hope somone here would be willing to help? ** Please do feel free to e-mail me privately at elliefoster7 at . ** Many thanks, to all, and to Eric for this blog post! *smile*

      1. Matthew



        If you would like to make acquaintance with some of these people (and enjoy some early American music, known as the Sacred Harp), some of them sing at the Dayton Sacred Harp singing, in Dayton, OH. You can find out more information at In fact, if you see this soon enough, they sing this afternoon, October 23rd. You will be warmly welcomed.

      2. Rachel


        Dear Ellie,
        I just want to let you know that since it sounds like you want to get a little more into the plain life then I would consider trying a Beachy Amish church. They are much like the Amish but do not use horse and buggy. They are still strick on their dress code and how they go about many things.
        I want to tell you also that I to have no Mennonite/Amish background. My husband and I have felt the need to become Amish for over 3 years now. We have done much resurch and talk with many Amish. They say it would be very easy fo us to join, the only thing that would hold us back is the languish….of corse. lol. So we are now attending a Beachy Amish Church. They are wonderful people. They have welcomed us in with open arms. I was scared they would look down on us, but they saw how serious we were, and how we wanted to devote our lives to Christ more than just live the life style they do. They are actully quite amazied with us. How we just gave everything up, and how eaisly we have converted ourselves.
        The Amish that we have spoken with say that if we down the road still feel that God is calling us to the Amish faith, then we can still take a few years living among them to test our faith. If you truly want to go this way, then you have to do it for your faith in Christ and not just for the life style or the way they do things. That is not what the Amish is about.
        I hope you find your way. Many Blessings

        A Friend

    35. Valerie

      Hi Ellie,
      While you are waiting for a reply, may I recommend a website to you? (I hope that’s ok, Eric). Reason being, I can relate to alot of what you share. This ministry is an Anabaptist sect that you can listen to their messages online. Their churches are made up of former Amish, former Mennonites, former evangelicals, as well as new Believers who adhere to the Anabaptist interpretation, dress modestly, believe in women’s veiling, yet are more open to share their faith which is why some left Amish to join-a passionate desire to reach others-anyway, they have been growing in church affiliations in America & Canada-their Christian singing is without instruments & their website has those to offer too-their publication, Heartbeat of the Remnant I believe you would love-they also are instrumental when you contact them at trying to find a church in your area-I know a man that used to drive 3 hrs each way to attend the one in Pennsylvania until he moved his family there finally. I enjoy their messages a great deal, being tired of what you mentioned in your post. God Bless your seeking!

    36. Ray

      It’s worth noting that if one is coming from the world or not happy with the liberalism in mainstream Evangelical churches, there are middle of the road options rather than trying to join what we see as the complete opposite. Often the Christian life has been told as a road with a ditch on either side. Ditch number one being Legalism/formalism/”conservative” and ditch number two being worldliness/liberalism. We need to be careful to not counter-steer so hard to get out of one ditch that we end up in another.

      1. Ernie Yoder

        That is very ‘sound’ advice, Ray. There are so many ex-Amish people that have left and gone to opposite extreme. I think most of that is because of a painful experience in the past that hasn’t been resolved.(known or unknown)Is it unforfiveness, rejection, pain,… These issues need to be resolved or it will manifest in various ways in our lives and also on how we project others.

        Some of these will take these extremes so far as to say that there are no Amish people saved. The mention of Amish being saved is offensive and not acceptable to them. Needless to say, it is very difficult to help people with such attitudes.

        I carried that attitude as well, ..when we left the Amish I was bitter and thought ALL the Amish are lost. Later I realized it was because of the bittereness & unforgiveness in my own heart. Once God cleansed me from that.. I see the Amish from a totally different perspective. I still love my people… even when there are some that are seriously struggling.

        1. Jasmine

          Ernie Yoder

          Hi Ernie. I was wondering if it was possible if you could answer some of my questions I have about the Amish. (If you don’t mind) I want to join the Amish. I get on the internet everyday and look stuff up about them. I try to learn everything I can and what I have learned I like about the Amish. And also I have started to learn German this month and know a little bit but I wouldn’t be able to make a conversation with what I know LOL. I am absolutly sure I want to join the Amish and I know this is for me. Well anyways I hope you can answers a few of my questions. If you choose to do so my E-mail address is I hope to hear from you. Oh and also I am 18 years old.

    37. Merrie

      Answers to Questions

      Eric has created a terrific board here!

      I know some of you come to this board looking for an individual conversations about your individual questions. On a board with no way to safely share email addresses that can be hard.

      I wanted to let you know about a board that gave me the answers I was searching for once I found the general knowledge here.

      The web site is

      You can subscribe by going to the bottom of the page and click on “Join Now”. The other option is to email with your request.

      It is possible to have more personal questions answered there, as well as to find specific Anabaptist groups in your area along with points of contact.


    38. Following comments and exchanging emails

      Responding to Hedy and Merrie’s concerns, I’m sorry if it has been difficult at times to follow comments, and that you can’t send private messages directly between users. Don’t mean to make things frustrating.

      One reason is that this is a blog comment thread–not a forum requiring registration, or a social network where you create a personal page. This thread has also gotten quite long–approaching 400 comments.

      I know it’s one extra step, but when you receive a comment notification in your email box, you should be able to find the new comment in the “Recent Comments” list on the right sidebar (as long as it hasn’t been pushed off by new comments in the meantime). Clicking that will take you right to the new comment.

      I know that’s not ideal, though. I’m checking now to see if the comment notifier can be set to give you a link in your email that takes you directly to new comments, but I’m not finding it yet.

      I have also been looking into implementing a forum for the blog, which I hope would take care of these issues. It would also allow people to start their own topics. If there is interest in that, I may go ahead and do so. I appreciate your patience!

      1. Merrie


        Thank you, Eric. I work in IT (but not the web side) so I know how hard a “simple” thing can be to implement. That was why I offered the Yahoo group for people on here right now.

        When I was searching and wanting to respond to the nudges I was receiving from the Lord this was a good place to come for general conversations. Of course those conversations grew to deeper questions that required personal answers. The Yahoo group filled that need.

        I do appreciate your efforts. You’ve done amazing work with the tools you have at hand!


    39. Hooray--You can now go directly to the newest comment from your email

      Thanks Merrie, I appreciate that. Glad if this has been of help.

      And good news–I just fixed the issue that Hedy and others had encountered.

      If you are subscribed to this or any other comment thread, you should now see something like this at the beginning of any emails you get:

      “A new comment has been posted on “So you want to join the Amish” on the Amish America blog.

      To go directly to the new comment, click”

      Clicking this link will take you directly to the newest comment.

      Again, sorry it took awhile to get this working. Like Merrie said sometimes the simple-seeming things can be a challenge. Especially when you don’t have an IT background, and there’s no easy on/off switch 🙂

      I will work on more improvements. I appreciate the feedback!

      1. A+ to you, Erik, for that improvement!

    40. How to post a comment

      Bear with me, but just to clear up any confusion, there are really 2 ways of posting a comment here.

      One, by scrolling to the comment box at the bottom of the page. Enter comment, press submit, boom the comment appears at the very bottom of the list.

      Two, you can reply directly to someone else’s comment. Click on “Reply to Comment” on the comment you want to reply to. Clicking this will “jump” you right down to the comment box at the bottom. Enter comment, press submit, and boom, the comment is published, but instead of appearing at the very bottom of the page, it appears directly under the old comment you replied to.

      The idea with the second method is that you should be able to follow a specific conversation thread better that way. Or, if you find an old comment from 2009 you want to respond to, you can leave a comment to appear right below that old 2009 comment, rather than way at the bottom of the page.

      In theory method 2 should make conversations flow better by keeping responses grouped together.

    41. Nick

      I want to become amish because i believe the simple lifestyle would be great. There is one problem though. I am agnostic. Can i still become amish or do i have to be christian. Also i am 14 if that helps

      1. Lindsay

        I don’t think there is anything out there saying it’s necessary to be Amish to live a simple lifestyle. Like you I’m not christian, but you don’t have to have every gadget, gizmo or wear the latest styles. At 14 it can be hard with peer pressure not to have certain things, but it gets easier as you get older. Just stay true to yourself, keep an open mind and follow the golden rule.

    42. Ray

      To Nick

      You would have to be Christian to join. The Amish life is not merely a lifestyle, but one that is completely dictated by religion. I can assure you that the rules would be rigorous and have no logical reason to follow them if you lack the theistic motivation.

    43. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      Nick is fourteen years old. There is nothing to say that at age twenty four he wouldn’t have decided to have come to believe in God, it could happen sooner if Nick is open to it. I would suggest doing a lot of reading, the books Erik talks about in earlier posts, any books on Amish life you can get your hands on, read the “Confessions” that stated the belief of these groups, even read the Bible because that is the book the Amish read, and it would be important to at least read the main document. Later, check out the different degrees of Anabaptist faiths that are out there and see what makes further sense to you. If you want to, Nick, make friends with the Amish in your area, if you have a community. Remember too, it is a huge commitment that these people take, as we’ve seen in this blog, sometimes, their own children have trouble with the rigidity and the culture of being Amish.
      Another thing to do is not give up, if your conviction is, deep down, to follow an Amish lifestyle, then you will have to not give up on it. Again, learn as much as you can about the faith, it’s convictions, and the various lifestyles that the religion offers (it really does vary and isn’t limited to the horse and buggy Old Order Amish), learn about yourself, too, that is as important as anything else.

    44. Eli

      attracted to the lifestyle.

      I am very much attracted to the Amish, have been for years. I do believe in Christ but I live in NYC,I have tattoos, I was never married, am single and have an autistic kid, so I know that’s an uphill battle but I admire their lifestyle skills so much. No genetically modified food, or preservatives, DID YOU KNOW that the Amish community doesn’t have any records of ever having an Autistic child in their community? NO vaccines..I want to live as close to nature as possible because I feel it’s being as close to god as possible, you’re one with Nature, living the way Christ did. So i guess my question is what should I look for? or where to find “sustainable living lifestyles”? I want to find a community that lives like them, if not with them… thanks

    45. Sonofsava

      Join The Amish

      I visited the Amish twice in the east coast. I could not join them for many reasons. I love to live like the Amish; Holy,Simple and Content. I am sure there is some one out their who is in my situation. Happy Thanksgiving. God Bless.


    46. Message to visitors, especially under age 18, wishing to join the Amish

      I appreciate your comments, but joining the Amish is a big decision. Many people are attracted to the idea, but most people–including over-age-18 people–don’t manage to do it, for different reasons.

      However, you can always take your own faith to a deeper level, which in most cases is what Amish themselves would recommend you to do.

      I’m also reprinting the following from our reader Mike above:

      “If you are underage, please do not post your email address. To learn more about the Amish, subscribe to the magazines from Pathway Publishers. Practically all Amish are going to encourage underage people to submit to parental authority (unless that authority asks them to sin). There are also a lot of good books on the Amish that can help a person understand the culture and theology. [Erik suggests: The Amish Way, Riddle of Amish Culture, Amish Paradox, among others] But stay away from Amish romances and novels if you want a real picture, as they will not generally give a true picture of what it is like to live out the Amish lifestyle in everyday “hum-drum” life of washing clothes for 9 children or working in the sawmill for 54 hours a week.”

      This is not meant to discourage you from deepening your faith or learning more about Amish, Anabaptist beliefs, etc.

      However, posting your email address here and asking for correspondence (especially if you’re underage) is probably not the best way to learn more about the Amish or go about deepening your faith life. For the latter, your family and church are good places to start.

    47. Lance

      Joining the Amish is not your decision alone

      Most people believe that joining the Amish is entirely their own decision. It most definitely is not. Indeed, most of what I am saying in this post applies to all conservative Anabaptists.

      In order to join the church, you must request to take baptism instruction. You will be taught the 18 articles of the Dortrecht Confession. You will be told the rules of the church(Ordnung) and people will now point out to you when you are outside of the rules(only your parents might have done this before, now all church members become involved). You have to live within the rules of the church from then on as long as you still desire to join. After all of the instructions, which will take many weeks to complete, you will then have to tell the ministry your intentions if you decide that you can live within the rules the rest of your life and that you want to now join the church. The church service before baptism church, the ministry will hold a members only meeting, and the church will decide which, if any, baptism candidates will be allowed to join. The day before this church service, you will be asked by the deacon if you will still go ahead with baptism and membership. If yes, they will have baptism church and you will be baptized and become a church member, for life.

      Nothing about this is trivial. The church must approve you and you must have been obedient during the trial period. Obviously, you must be able to know what you are doing before you join. Also, you must be ‘of age’. The ‘age’ is the same as the ‘rumspringa’ age. For some groups, that age is 16, others 17. Others yet may have their own age. Parents often become pests to their ‘of age’ children, pushing them to join, as they have attained the ‘age of accountability’ and can now be sent to hell, should they die un-baptized.

      As with all things Anabaptist, you may have a different experience. I wrote this based on my experience at trying to join the Amish and after consulting with a former Amish man.

      1. Lance

        Slight revision to joining the Amish procedure

        I was able to review the above procedure with my Amish friends this week and I was mostly correct. I need to revise events of the day before Baptism church. That Saturday, the baptismal candidates that the church has approved for membership meet with all of the ministers and everything is reviewed again. The 18 articles of the Dortrecht Confession and rules of the Ordnung are again gone over. If there are candidates that still wish to be baptized, then the church has a baptismal service on Sunday.

        Otherwise, the above post is correct.

    48. Sarah

      I really want to be Amish

      I’m 24 & live in Australia. I love reading about the Amish, watching documentaries, looking through church history. I want to be Amish mostly for reasons of faith. I find it hard to peruse a relationship with God amidst numerous distractions. it seems the best way to live as Christ has instructed… except for the lack of witnessing… that intrigues me.

      Thanks for the article.

      1. Jasper


        I can understand your interest in the Amish, however, if you are interested because of your faith you might need to dig a little deeper than the documentaries show. The lack of witnessing will get you on the right track, and not to say that all Amish are the same, but the majority of the Old Order are following Church rules, not the Bible. The Church rules do mirror the Bible here and there, but are founded more on tradition than on faith. This is easily seen by those of us around many Amish folks, when we ask them simple questions about basic Christianity and they don’t have the answers…even some Bishops don’t know what “they do what they do.” Again, not all are like this, but many. The Amish are much different than the media portrays.

    49. Paul A.B.

      Like so many others who have posted, I have admired the Mennonite and Amish way of witnessing to the faith since my first contact with Mennonites many years ago at an auction. I was fascinated by this “otherworldly” culture, and still am, over thirty years later. And let me say that in my opinion, the Anabaptist communities do witness: but they do it in deed, and not rhetoric. From what I can see, they testify with their lives: they walk the talk, rather than talking the talk. This is what earns my respect.

      On another note, I think the reason so many of us here yearn for even just a taste of the Amish way is not so much theological in basis as it is due to the fact that, whether we realize it or not, secular society is broken on so many levels: high promiscuity, high indifference among people to one another (large cities are rife with this), limitless consumerism, limitless competition (the Amish appear to cooperate with one another rather than compete), addiction to unnecessary things, mass-scale attention deficit disorder, mindless speed and hurrying about – I could go on.

      While it would be naive to think that Amish life is a paradise (Weird Al’s weird parody notwithstanding), I think that many of us see the HONESTY with which Amish people stay the course, sacrificing the glitter and gab, so that they may walk serenely, as a community, with Jesus.

      Their counter-cultural “no” to the things that take us away from that life of faith, and from one another, simply earns my respect.

    50. Hannah

      Is it hard to become Amish if your a outsider and from the modern world and who do you have to talk to about becoming Amish?

      1. Lance


        I would not call it easy to make any substantial lifestyle change like going from the modern world to the plain Anabaptists. It can be and has been done. It simply takes a lot of prayer, trust, belief, and determination.

        As for who to talk to, the only people you can talk to are the people of the group you like best. The Amish are congregational. That means only the ministers of each church district have authority in that district. So, those are the people you need to talk to in order to find out if it is the right place for you. Prayer is also highly needed. Expect rejection, these people do not want you to become part of them and then later leave. That has happened a lot and it hurts them too. They do not want to hurt you, nor do they want to be hurt, so don’t expect an open arms welcome.

        Every Amish minister I have ever talked to says that if you are not coming to the Amish because you believe in the religion, you will not succeed in remaining with them. Or to put it their way, if this is not of faith, it will not work. So learn about the religion and what they believe first. If you do not agree completely, you probably should not try to become Amish. Faith and belief are the most important part of becoming Amish. Without it, don’t try it, you will just get hurt.

        Read my other comments in this topic for books to read about the religion. Read the Bible daily(good for you, even if you don’t want to go Amish). If you read the Amish fiction books of Lewis, Brunstetter, Gray, Wiseway, Eicher, et al, do not look at them as authoritative about the Amish or the lifestyle. They are dreamy romantic fiction, full of many errors about the faith and the lifestyle. Case in point: A Amish bishop told me an english person had given him one of these books. He read about 3 chapters and declared it to be so full of ridiculous errors that he threw it in the wood stove fire! That book was from one of the biggest names in Amish fiction. Again, Amish fiction books are not authoritative, do not expect to find what you read there in real life.

        So, if you really must become Amish: Read your Bible, take German in school, but expect differences in pronunciation, Learn about the many different orders and their ways. Talk to them face-to-face first, making friends and you will probably get a penpal, when you are of age they will probably let you live among them. If you do all of this, GO SLOW, DO NOT RUSH, learn the languages, you’ll need them. And mostly, PRAY to God the Father to lead you to do His Will.